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ALBUM REVIEWS

Brian Lynch Big Band: The Omni-American Book Club / My Journey Through Literature in Music

Read "The Omni-American Book Club / My Journey Through Literature in Music" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Aside from being a multi-award-winning trumpeter and composer, Brian Lynch appears to be an avid reader and social arbiter as well. His twenty-third album as leader, a two-CD set whose protracted and austere name, The Omni-American Book Club / My Journey Through Literature in Music, belies its bold and free-hearted nature, is dedicated to a number of writers, most in the realms of equity and civil rights, who have quickened Lynch's inquiring mind and shaped his bright and perceptive music. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lyder Øvreås Røed: The Moon Doesn't Drink

Read "The Moon Doesn't Drink" reviewed by Chris May

A promising own-name debut from the Norwegian trumpeter, Lyder Øvreås Røed's The Moon Doesn't Drink has both feet planted in analogue-era jazz yet sounds wholly modern. Røed's melodic, intimate style and burnished tone may be reminiscent of pre-electric Miles Davis, but if this album comes across, at times, a bit like Davis' Kind Of Blue (CBS, 1959), it sounds more like natural vibe than conscious retro. Røed shares the frontline with tenor saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg, whose spiritual-jazz infused ...

RADIO

Day and Taxi, Adam Rudolph, Harish Raghavan and More

Read "Day and Taxi,  Adam Rudolph, Harish Raghavan and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

First out of the mixed bag of audio treats this week (it's Halloween after all!) is a track from Oliver Lake's first recording 43 years ago Ntu: The Point from Which Creation Begins. I haven't played Oliver in a while and that seemed like a good place to begin catching up. Adam Rudolph's epic project, Ragmala, combines his Go: Organic Orchestra with the Brooklyn Raga Massive for a 40-musician rhythm-rich set of music. Smaller groups debuting new releases are Swiss ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ahmad Jamal: Trio & Quintet Recordings With Ray Crawford

Read "Trio & Quintet Recordings With Ray Crawford" reviewed by Chris May

This 2xCD reissue comprises three of Ahmad Jamal's early and mid 1950s trio albums plus a fourth recorded in 1960 with a quintet. Between times, Jamal had released the totemic trio set At The Pershing (Argo, 1958), which included the break-out single “Poinciana" (his first, equally lovely, 1955 recording of Nat Simon and Buddy Bernier's tune is included here). Jamal divided opinion in the 1950s. Some critics wrote him off as “just" a cocktail pianist whose touch ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Remy Le Boeuf: Assembly Of Shadows

Read "Assembly Of Shadows" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

With his second date as a leader, multi-woodwind artist Remy Le Bouef performs these largely self-penned comps with an orchestra, featuring notable musicians Anna Webber (woodwinds), Alex Goodman (guitar) and other jazz VIPs. Here, the leader's composing acuity brims with multicolored hues and harmonious arrangements, largely executed with a composite of modern jazz and classical inferences via gradual buildups, brash outbreaks and complex unison choruses that occasionally mimic single note bop lines. Sure enough, this young visionary's unflagging creative spirit ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Derel Monteith, Trio and Solo

Read "Derel Monteith, Trio and Solo" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Derel Monteith Trio Quantity of Life Self Produced 2019 The title phrase isn't quite the obvious one—isn't quality of life usually supposed to be the main thing?—but not to worry here, as Quantity of Life shows the Derel Monteith Trio offering plenty of both. The recording serves as an answer to one modern sage's famous question: “Well, how did I get here?" In the Illinois pianist's case, there were decades of work and study ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Hal Galper Trio: The Zone: Live At The Yardbird Suite

Read "The Zone: Live At The Yardbird Suite" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Hal Galper has rounded out a career spanning five decades with his stint at Origin Records, beginning with Furious Rubato (2007) and wrapping things up--or so it was rumored--with 2018's Cubist. Most of these are trio affairs featuring bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, with Cubist adding saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi to the mix. All of them respresent Galper's quest for the perfection of the elastic approach to tempo called the rubato style. And it could be credibly said ...

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Flin van Hemmen: Casting Spells & The Coves

Read "Casting Spells & The Coves" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you live in the US you might have seen a television commercial for a mortgage company that utilizes Bob Dylan's composition “The Man In Me." Did the advertising firm choose this song because music gives us a sense of a shared experience? Certainly. Was the experience from the original Dylan recording New Morning (Columbia, 1977), or more likely, the shared occurrence come from the the soundtrack to the cult film The Big Lebowski. Does this use make mortgages cool? ...

RADIO

Enrico Rava: Around the Jazz World in 80 Years - The Leader Part - 2

Read "Enrico Rava: Around the Jazz World in 80 Years - The Leader Part - 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Second part of the Enrico Rava special focusing on his projects as leader (click here to access the first part) showcasing his range of interests from the tradition of the American Songbook, to Bitches Brew like soundscapes and Opera. This playlist features his work with the likes of Roswell Rudd, Franco D'Andrea, John Abercrombie, Gianluigi Trovesi, Aldo Romano, Javier Girotto, Richard Galliano, Tony Oxley, Marcello Melis, Nana Vasconcelos, Stefano Battaglia and many more. Ben Allison ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jeff Denson, Romain Pilon, Brian Blade: Between Two Worlds

Read "Between Two Worlds" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

American bassist Jeff Denson and French guitarist Romain Pilon not only became professional acquaintances, but also great friends, when they began their studies at the much-revered Boston Berklee College of Music at the end of the last century. On Between Two Worlds the two celebrate their twenty years of on-and-off collaborating, with leading drum wizard Brian Blade completing the trio. In a set of mostly clear structures and highly melodic interplay between all involved, a crunchy guitar effect paired with ...

RADIO

The Jazz Messengers in the 1960s (1960 - 1964)

Read "The Jazz Messengers in the 1960s (1960 - 1964)" reviewed by Russell Perry

As the 1960s began Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were fueled by the compositions of Wayne Shorter with the front line of Shorter and Lee Morgan. In 1961, this transitioned to the last great Messengers lineup of the 1960s—and it was one of the best ever—Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Cedar Walton on piano and Jymie Merritt on bass, propelled by compositions by Shorter, Fuller, Walton. The 1960s edition of the Jazz Messengers in ...

INTERVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Finding the Way to Little Big

Read "Aaron Parks: Finding the Way to Little Big" reviewed by Jiaowei Hu

"Always beginning. Often perplexed. Drawn to beauty and to the absurd. I play piano, write songs, and take pictures of doors with my phone. A bit odd." So is the pianist's own account on his website, written in a few scribbled sentences. About a decade ago, Aaron Parks created much of a stir through his debut album Invisible Cinema (Blue Note Records, 2008). In the cover image, the then new star was standing right before a closing door. Ten years ...


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